The South Jersey Unit of The Herb Society of America
The South Jersey Unit is a non-profit organization and a local unit of the Herb Society of America. We are dedicated to promoting the knowledge, use and delight of herbs through educational programs, research and sharing the experience of its members with the community.
The South Jersey Unit meets monthly (except July and August) throughout the southern half of NJ and, as our membership expands, so does our territory. We meet in town community centers, libraries, churches, garden centers, and we sometimes even just set up lawn chairs at gardens we're visiting and have open-air meetings. Speakers are herbal and garden professionals that are experts in their field and/or South Jersey Unit members who have herbal and garden knowledge to share. Seventy-five percent of our meetings are open to the public to help fulfill our mission of herbal education.
Lorraine Kiefer founded our unit in 1997. She is a local educator and co-partner with her son, Joe Kiefer, of Triple Oaks Nursery and Herb Garden, Franklinville, NJ. A few years prior to our formation she attempted to start a South Jersey unit with the help of her friends Barbara Bruno and Joanna Reed but their plans took a while to take root. We now have a very active group of approximately (50) members.
Our unit publishes a quarterly newsletter, "The Herb Basket", that highlights member activities, herbal books, movie reviews, recipes, recommended websites, crafts and gardening tips.
We have a lending library of herbal and garden books donated by members of our unit.
When we want to explore herbs in more detail, we form study groups. Some of them have been the study of medieval monastic herbs, herbs native to New Jersey, culinary herbs, and herbal teas around the world. We have various fundraisers throughout the year and the biggest is an herbal tea party held in early spring. The money raised goes to a yearly scholarship we give to a local horticultural student, and to finance the professional speakers we hire for our programs, and other worthy causes.